Celia Thaxter

(29 June 1835 – 25 August 1894 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

The Sandpiper

Poem by Celia Thaxter

Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, but by bit,
The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud, black and swift, across the sky:
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white light-houses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My drift-wood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God's children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

Comments about The Sandpiper by Celia Thaxter

  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (10/26/2019 4:55:00 AM)

    An insightful rendition nicely embellished with poetic rhyme and rhythm. A beautiful creation..(Report)Reply

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  • Carol (8/3/2019 9:24:00 AM)

    I just discovered a handwritten copy of this poem by my Great Aunt Bertha, who would be 150- something years old. It has great meaning to me, as Sandpipers have always been my favorite part of the beach. They seem to come from nowhere, and skitter across the sand, then they are gone!(Report)Reply

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  • annonymous (7/4/2019 9:06:00 AM)

    what was the poems main idea i mean what was the poem is all about(Report)Reply

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  • Kailyn (2/25/2019 12:11:00 PM)

    I'm learning this for speech meet! it's so sweet(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Nathan (10/7/2018 6:52:00 PM)

    I learned it in fourth grade(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Zayde (2/27/2018 5:16:00 PM)

    Poem in my school it was way shorter but anyway good job(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • David Paradine (3/13/2016 11:24:00 PM)

    I learned this in the third grade.............1945(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: beach, lonely, sky, children, song, fire, fear, wind, light, god, night, running, friend, child

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003